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International Journal of Biomaterials
Volume 2012, Article ID 584060, 10 pages
Research Article

BSA Nanoparticles for siRNA Delivery: Coating Effects on Nanoparticle Properties, Plasma Protein Adsorption, and In Vitro siRNA Delivery

1Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2G6
2National Research Council, National Institute for Nanotechnology, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2M9
3Department of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2G6

Received 12 April 2012; Accepted 21 June 2012

Academic Editor: Esmaiel Jabbari

Copyright © 2012 Haran Yogasundaram et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Developing vehicles for the delivery of therapeutic molecules, like siRNA, is an area of active research. Nanoparticles composed of bovine serum albumin, stabilized via the adsorption of poly-L-lysine (PLL), have been shown to be potentially inert drug-delivery vehicles. With the primary goal of reducing nonspecific protein adsorption, the effect of using comb-type structures of poly(ethylene glycol) (1 kDa, PEG) units conjugated to PLL (4.2 and 24 kDa) on BSA-NP properties, apparent siRNA release rate, cell viability, and cell uptake were evaluated. PEGylated PLL coatings resulted in NPs with -potentials close to neutral. Incubation with platelet-poor plasma showed the composition of the adsorbed proteome was similar for all systems. siRNA was effectively encapsulated and released in a sustained manner from all NPs. With 4.2 kDa PLL, cellular uptake was not affected by the presence of PEG, but PEG coating inhibited uptake with 24 kDa PLL NPs. Moreover, 24 kDa PLL systems were cytotoxic and this cytotoxicity was diminished upon PEG incorporation. The overall results identified a BSA-NP coating structure that provided effective siRNA encapsulation while reducing -potential, protein adsorption, and cytotoxicity, necessary attributes for in vivo application of drug-delivery vehicles.